Rabbi Daniel Asor claims that the story of Jesus is a copy of Eastern stories of pagan idols such as those found in Hinduism. The rabbi attempts to prove this by presenting “similarities” between Jesus and various idols or characters from Eastern religions. In order to do so, the rabbi quotes some out-dated ideas from about two hundred years ago, but he’s unable to quote even one single modern source. Why not, you wonder? Because there are no such sources. Today, informed scholars understand that these ideas do not hold water. These ideas, which appeared in the 19th century were refuted long ago, some even by Jewish biblical researchers and historians due to several archaeological findings, such as the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the caves of Qumran.
And yet, what about all the parallels between Krishna and Jesus? Could these parallels prove that Jesus’ life events were poached from other religions? If so, then Asor has managed not only to dismiss the narratives of the Messiah’s Gospel, but also the narratives of the Old Testament’s stories as well, because we can also find parallels between the Pentateuch and the literature of the Ancient East. Does Rabbi Asor intend to tell us that just because there are similarities between the Old Testament’s stories and literature from Mesopotamia, Shumar, Egypt, Babel, Ashur, and Greece, that it means that Moses poached the story of creation from other religions? Or the commandments of the Law from the laws of Hammurabi? Will Rabbi Asor claim that Noah is an imaginary character because we can find stories of floods in other religions? Of course the rabbi wouldn’t dare to say such things, otherwise he wouldn’t be a rabbi anymore.
So what really is the true source of the presentation of Jesus as divine? If the rabbi had handled the Gospels with minimal academic integrity, he would have understood that the writers of the New Testament came to these conclusions based on the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. They weren’t even acquainted with Eastern philosophies.
Professor Benjamin Sommer, a Jewish scholar who specializes in Old Testament research, wrote a research book dedicated to the subject of God’s revelation to men in the flesh and based on the Old Testament. He writes:
“This study forces a re-evaluation of the Jewish attitude toward Christianity. Some Jews regard Christianity’s claim to be a monotheistic religion with grave suspicion, both because of the doctrine of the trinity (… how can three equal one?) and because of Christianity’s core belief that God put on flesh, meaning, took bodily form for Himself. Biblical Israel knew very similar doctrines, and these doctrines didn’t disappear from Judaism after the biblical period…” (Prof. Daniel Sommer, The Bodies of God and the World of Ancient Israel, pp. 135)
Or to put it simply, the Jewish professor admits that God revealing Himself to humanity as a man in the flesh is actually a biblical Jewish concept. In fact, we have made separate video dealing specifically the subject of the divinity of Messiah according to the Old Testament and the Sages.
Rabbi Daniel Asor is trying to compare Jesus to pagan gods like Horus, Attis, Krishna, Dionysus and Mithra. According to Asor, they were also born on December 25th, were born to virgins, had twelve disciples, performed miracles, were crucified to death and resurrected after three days. But the New Testament doesn’t claim that Jesus was born on December 25th. Actually, the assumption is that Jesus was born during the Feast of the Tabernacles (Sukkot), and in any case, none of these gods were born on December 25th. And none of them had twelve disciples.
For example, in the Persian version, Mithra had one disciple: Verona. In the Roman version, he had two disciples. 1 plus 2 equals 3, not 12. None of them were born to virgins. Attis for example, while in the womb of his mother, turned from a fruit- a pomegranate, to a man, and it doesn’t say that his mother was a virgin. Krishna was the eighth child by his mother Devaki, so she definitely couldn’t be a virgin. The only idol, whose story is linked with a virgin birth is Mithra. But pay attention to the words of Professor Yamutzi, a Japanese researcher and historian who specializes in Mithraism religion:
“We can find the earliest real Mithra at the beginning of the 2nd century AD. Most of the evidence we have about Mithra originates in the 2nd, 3rd and the 4th centuries AD. There is a fundamental flaw in the theories that Mithraism affected the beginning of Messianism and of Christianity.” (Prof. Yamuzi)
Did you get it? Mithra’s virgin birth story is the one that was copied from the New Testament and not the other way around! None of these gods were crucified to death on a cross and resurrected after three days. Attis for example, died next to a tree, but wasn’t crucified nor did he resurrect. Krishna was shot to death by a hunter who mistook him for a deer, and he didn’t resurrect.
There is one version among many, which was created during the 4th century AD, that suggests a theory that Dionysus was crucified, but this of course was long after the time of the New Testament, and in any case, he didn’t resurrect.
Additionally, regarding the subject of death and resurrection from the dead, there are critical differences between Jesus and the idols. These idols are not described as those who willingly gave their lives as an atoning sacrifice for sins, but rather they died as a result of a hunting accident, castration and other injuries, not as a result of sacrificial love for another. And as for the miracles, while it was claimed that some of them could perform miracles, none of their miracles compare with the miracles of Jesus. They didn’t raise people from the dead, didn’t turn water into wine, didn’t walk on water, didn’t heal lepers, didn’t open the eyes of the blind, and didn’t do the miracles Jesus did. Therefore, it is an interesting fact that even the Talmudic rabbis recognize and document the fact that Jesus and his disciples performed supernatural wonders and miracles. It is also important to understand that many people in history said similar sayings, it doesn’t turn them into idolaters or even necessarily into copycats.
We will conclude with the words of the philosopher Ron Nash:
“During the period running roughly from 1890 to 1940, scholars often alleged that the early Christian church was heavily influenced by such philosophical movements as Platonism and Stoicism and other Pagan religions or Hellenistic movements in the world. Allegations of early Christianity’s dependence on its Hellenistic environment began to fade in publications of biblical and classical scholars, largely as a result of a series of scholarly books and articles written in an effort to refute them. Today, most informed scholars regard the question as a dead issue.”
Did you get it? The rabbi is counting on likelihood that you will simply believe his lies and won’t bother to check the facts for yourselves. No notable historian or biblical scholar has made such claims for a very long time. But all this doesn’t prevent Rabbi Asor from using these out-dated arguments, in an attempt to hide Jesus from you.
Eitan's professional background is in "Multimedia Design and Visual Communications" working for various secular advertising agencies in Tel-Aviv.
Eitan is the producer of:
1) I MET MESSIAH (Jewish testimonials).
2) Answering Rabbinic Objections to Jesus.
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